Upcoming group gardening sessions

1st 2 weekends of the month – Saturday mornings, from 9.30am Rest of the month – Sunday mornings, from 9.30am Look for volunteer coordinator – Cuifen If you are coming, do leave a comment  so that we know to expect you! Bring along water, food if you need, garden gloves, basic garden tools e.g. garden pruners […]

6 Jun Update ~ Sieving our home-made compost

There was a new activity at our edible garden this morning :)

We have a pile of well composted material inter-mixed with larger tree branches that had not broken down.

Dennis & Lydia brought a golden-coloured basket with fine metal mesh bottom. In its previous life, it was a beautiful hamper basket. In our community garden, it becomes a sieve for our compost material!

Small amounts of the coarse compost material was put on the basket, which was rapidly moved back and forth to create a sieving action. Fine material fell through the sieve onto the gunny sack material underneath, and transferred into a separate bag for future use. These gunny sacks are also recycled material as they previously held compost sponsored by the park management.

The hamper basket is put into good use!

The hamper basket is put into good use!

In total, we managed to sieve out 3 gunny sacks worth of fine home-made compost! The compost felt so good when we ran it through our fingers, and felt so alive.

the finer bits of home-made compost :)

the finer bits of home-made compost :)

30 May Update

There was just 2 of us at the edible garden today. The number of neighbours coming to our weekend community sessions is hard to predict. Some days we have too many people joining us, and some days we have none!

One of our key supporters Sharon commented that this is a concern, and it is a fact that our core gardeners are either young adults or elderly people who have already retired, and every one else has a lot of other things to worry about on weekends! That’s where we recognise that our edible garden serves to provide a space for people to meet & interact (regardless if they are working on the garden or not), and to learn & share good ideas. In this area, we have done well for the garden has helped created good friendships amongst neighbours who would otherwise not have met, and have welcomed other local garden enthusiasts to join us in making this a sustainable garden.

Anyway, Uncle Teo decided his pumpkin plant was not going to bear any more fruit, and decided to take it down so that he can focus on the plants in the other raised beds allocated to his care. He decided to give away the only pumpkin. Our Whatsapp channel for interested neighbours came in really handy, and neighbour Jo put up her hand to receive the harvest. We threw in some “bonus” harvest – Kai Lan and also the lovely butterfly blue pea flowers.

Harvest to share

Harvest to share

Our green bananas are also almost ready for harvest!

Green bananas, almost ready for harvest

Green bananas, almost ready for harvest

The red bananas are also fruiting! Can’t wait to try the bananas.

Red bananas

Red bananas

This is an experimental plot by neighbours Dennis & Lydia. They just created this the day before, and said it provides a better growth condition for the tomato seedlings. Let’s check in on this plot again some weeks later!

Experimental plot for tomatoes

Experimental plot for tomatoes

24 May ~ Creating a new garlic raised bed

One of our 2 compost heaps has pretty good weathered coarse compost material now.

One of our 2 compost heap!

One of our 2 compost heaps!

Cheng Ai had brought a bag of garlic cloves. We decided to create a new raised bed to grow garlic as the location for our previous garlic bed was too shady & moist.

Having identified a suitable area that was more sunny & open, five of us got down to creating the new raised bed. We arranged red bricks into a 2-tier rectangular bed, and added coarse compost from the heap. Tree branches and leaves that had not broken down were removed.

The garlic cloves were then arranged in neat rows along the length of the bed.

Once we were happy with the arrangement, we gently pushed the cloves in, with the flat side pointing down, so that they were not visible from the top.

The compost was moist so the bed didn’t need additional watering.

Our new raised bed, and many garlic cloves

Our new raised bed, and many garlic cloves

9 May Update ~ Creating a new compost heap

Our main task for today was to break down our huge heap of garden waste, and create a new compost heap. We had a grand today of four individuals – quite a huge heap for only 4 persons, but anyway let’s get down to work!

A heap of garden waste waiting to be broken down to smaller pieces

A heap of garden waste waiting to be broken down to smaller pieces

To create a new compost heap, we first started by creating a base layer of broken dried twigs. These twigs are readily available at our garden because of the nearby trees in the park, and were easily broken as they were dried in the open for some time.

Base layer - broken twigs

Base layer – broken twigs

The next thing to do was to add dried leaves. These are also readily available in the park as the trees and bushes in the park shed a lot of leaves. Neighbour Dennis started explaining that normally, these dried leaves would still be considered the “green” component of the compost heap as they are formerly living green leaves. However, as we have a lot of garden waste, these dried leaves can also be considered the “brown” component. This ignited a discussion on what “green” and “brown” is, and how much of “brown” we need to add versus the “green” component. Dennis mentioned that normally, the ratio is 1 brown to 3 green, but not many people actually understand what this ratio really means. 1 brown to 3 green is actually the same as 1 volume of brown to the same volume of green. As in, if you have a 1kg bag of “brown”, you need to add 1kg bag of “green” to meet the ratio. And not 1 brown, 3 green. Confused yet? ;)

Adding dried leaves to the heap

Adding dried leaves to the heap

After adding quite a significant amount of brown, we started the garden waste. There was quite a lot of stems from the passion fruit plant removed last weekend. We also added dried leaves from the banana and papaya plants.

The compost heap with garden waste added

The compost heap with garden waste added

After several layers of “greens” and “browns”, we have a new compost heap! There’s still more garden waste that we can add to this heap, but we hope that our layering has been done well, and it will start doing its good old composting work soon!

Meet our new compost heap!

Meet our new compost heap!

NTUC Income Run 350 stakeholders’ recognition

Neighbours Steven and Cuifen picked this up on behalf of the edible garden team at NTUC Income Run 350 stakeholders’ appreciation event this evening. This appreciation plaque recognises the efforts made by various neighbours to pull together information, plants and other materials to make our 1st booth outreach happen, despite the fact that we had less than 1 less advance notice to the event :)

Blog post on the event here

Run 350 stakeholders' recognition

Run 350 stakeholders’ recognition